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How to Retain Customers and Increase Their Lifetime Value

There’s an old saying that “no man is an island” and that can equally be applied to any business. No organisation is completely self-sufficient, it has to rely on others to survive. And that’s why it’s important not only to win new business but to ensure that your existing customer base remains loyal.

Research shows that if you can increase your customer retention by as little as five per cent, it can boost your profits anywhere from 25 to a staggering 95 per cent. By the same token, the success rate of selling to a new customer is estimated to be between five - 20 per cent, a figure that rockets to 60-70 per cent with an existing client. It makes perfect sense then to look at ways to create loyalty and find ways for your clients to order more frequently and in bigger quantities.

The key to doing this is taking a proactive rather than a reactive approach. You may know when the orders are going to come in – and what they are likely to consist of - but have you explored the potential for expanding this process?

Become an extension of their business

If you work with hospitality – or retail in general – there are lots of ways to help boost their business and yours. Sit in a bar or restaurant and look around you – what do you see? Printed menus, posters highlighting special events and offers, banners outside and showcasing what they provide. If you don’t already provide these then it’s definitely worth making yourself known and letting them know what you can offer.

If they are already a customer, then think about opportunities for them to change their print collateral at other times of the year and grow their business. You know that there’ll be special deals and offers for the key dates in the calendar such as Easter and Christmas. But as there are so many other special weeks and dates in the year – which are easily discovered online - why not create some marketing ideas that you can share with them?

There’s everything from Chocolate Week to Fairtrade Fortnight – there’s literally not a month of the year when there isn’t a whole host of weird, wonderful – but potentially profitable – days to cash in on.

Find the ones that relate to their particular business and put together a plan, showcasing the kind of materials you can provide. Even if they don’t go with that particular idea, chances are they will be more than impressed by your ingenuity and efforts.

It also opens the door for you to become an extension of their existing team and shows that you care enough to want their business to do well all year round. That’s very appealing to any company and will definitely put you ahead of the competition. If you’re just starting out and are looking for customers, then that can be a challenge – but it’s certainly not impossible.

Add value with Reseller Tools

Firstly look at what your competitors are offering – and look at ways that you can do it better. Added value will always make you a front runner so think about how you can go above and beyond. If you are looking for customers in a particular sector, then the internet is definitely your friend or use something like LinkedIn which is a great way to get to the heart of a business community.

It’s also worth looking at networking groups in your area, particularly those where people swap leads. A good supply of business cards and samples – brochures, flyers, catalogues – are all a shop window on your goods.

At WTTB, we have an expansive samples page filled with everyday print essentials, along with a selection of inspiring upsell ideas for potential customers. This is a really valuable tool that's free for you to use and can save you the time and effort of having to produce them yourself. Order as much as you like – just pay postage.

If you’re looking to make a digital introduction, our free library of in-situ product images is a great way to highlight what an impact brilliant print collateral can have. Select and download from over 70 industry sectors, and instantly showcase to customers what you can offer – it’s the perfect stepping stone to increased orders. The old saying that “ a picture paints a 1000 words” is absolutely true – so be sure to take advantage of this great resource.

Provide opportunities

If it’s feasible, it may be worth meeting up with your top customers or even having a virtual catch-up. You can find out more about them and remember knowledge is power, which means you can make relevant suggestions on ways to boost their business – and in turn your own.

As we live in an increasingly eco-conscious world, many of your clients may well want to go down the environmentally friendly route, in which case you can highlight the range of products that you can offer.

Or they may be looking for items that can be personalised but not realised the extent of the range available, again this is a great opportunity to surprise them with the volume of goods they can choose from.

You can also show you care by highlighting the savings that can be made by bulk buying. For example, restaurants that have paper placemats which need replacing after every customer could take advantage of ordering larger numbers. Any business which has a large turnover of customers should seriously consider bulk ordering. It may involve a larger initial pay-out, but it will definitely make savings in the long term.

Why not produce your own calendar of events to send to your customers with hints and tips on how they use these special dates to boost their business? It could include – along with all the obvious days of the year – any special sporting occasions, any national celebrations, any anniversaries – in fact, any occasion at all where there’s even the most tenuous connection that can be turned into an opportunity. This will not only prove a valuable asset but will also be positively received by your customers.

And don’t forget the fun factor, which can help promote your business to an even wider audience. Look at assets such as branded selfie frames, hand clappers and loudhailers which you can use to make those all-important social media posts. They are a very cost-effective way of showcasing your brand (or of course producing them for your clients) and helping your customers get more customers.

In a highly competitive retail world, people now expect and want more. If you can boost your service and surprise your customers, show them you are the “expert voice” and can provide support and solutions for their business challenges, then you’re likely to have a customer for life.


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